Ebola: SC Senate Medical Affairs

The Medical Affairs Committee met on October 16th with Healthcare officials to discuss the Ebola virus and the steps being taken to monitor, track and prevent it’s spread in S.C.  Thornton Kirby, President of the S.C. Hospital Association, and Catherine Templeton, director of DHEC told the committee that their goal is prevention.  They are also strictly following guidance provided by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Firstly, there  are no known or suspected individual cases of Ebola in SC. Widespread outbreak is even more unlikely, as South Carolina and the United States in general have a low risk for an epidemic. However, hospitals across the state are very much on alert and being trained for the possibility that the virus is contracted.

S.C.  healthcare providers are being taught a consistent message: Identify an Ebola patient, isolate them, and communicate with DHEC immediately in order to facilitate a rapid response. “The state would decide how best to treat an Ebola patient on a case-by-case basis,” Templeton said.

Right now, tests are being facilitated across the state that are similar to the “secret shopper” approach many restaurants use. Senator Hutto recommended that these drills be conducted in a way that no one knows it’s coming. “You never know if the plan is going to work until you really test it,” he said. These drills will be conducted at random to ensure everyone is properly equipped.

More information about the Ebola Virus and the precautions SC is taking can be found on the DHEC website here >>

http://www.scdhec.gov/Health/FHPF/HealthAlertsNotifications/Ebola/mindex.htm